Marvin Gaye – Whats Goin’ On (Whats Happening Brother) [1971]

Simply incredible. One of the greatest double tracks of all time, live, from one of the best vocalists ever. Stick it on, close your eyes and purge, real soul music here.

Merry Christmas!

From Discogs
This is such a beautiful album with a worthwile message for humankind. Marvin’s voice is just so heavinly, and along with Stevie Wonder, one of the few voices out there in the world of music, that makes the ears go all spritual in harmony. The message is still relevent today, as it was and before the album came out. The concept of Peace, Unity and Hapiness is expressed here through the lyrics, and also the musicianship of the Funk Brothers.

THE FIRST great political and socially conscious album that really threw down the gauntlet. Never before had an album tackled issues of poverty, race, war, inner city deprivation and hatred in one unifying and incredibly moving statement. ‘What’s Going On’ took Soul music to new unparalleled heights which future artists tried to aspire to. Stevie Wonder has always cited ‘What’s Going On’ as his favourite album of all time and the one in which has inspired him the most. And to think that Motown at the time viewed the album as an abject failure and a huge let down!!!

This is without a doubt the greatest Soul and R&B album in music history, a must-have masterpiece that should be in every record collection. Yes “Sgt. Pepper” was influential, but “What’s Going On” was a different kind of influence. Not to open your mind to drugs, and new experiences, but to open your mind to love and peace. Sly & The Family Stone might have psychedelicized soul music, but Marvin Gaye personalized it, and he literally poured out every emotion onto this record.

Although the powers-that-were Motown didn’t even want to release the record, the unexpected success of What’s Going On, issued in 1971, inspired Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, and just about every other black artist on the planet to take greater responsibility for their music and its meaning. Gaye co-wrote the songs and produced the album, flavoring it with layer upon layer of his own multi-tracked vocals, oceans of hand percussion, strings, flutes, and jazzy horn solos. Spacey and loose as a spliff-fueled Sunday afternoon jam in the park, the nine songs all played like a hit single. There are no pauses between the track, the rhythm section just keeps going & flowing and the whole record pushes forward as a real soultrain, weaving songs seamlessy each into another.

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